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Overdose death rates increased significantly for Black, American Indian/Alaska Native people in 2020 | CDC Online Newsroom

In 2020, overdose dying charges (variety of drug overdose deaths per 100,000 individuals) elevated 44 p.c for Black* individuals and 39 p.c for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) individuals in contrast with 2019, in keeping with a brand new CDC Important Indicators report with drug overdose information from 25 states and the District of Columbia. Overdose dying charges in different teams, particularly White individuals, for whom the rise was 22 p.c, are additionally at historic highs. Towards the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, disruption in entry to prevention, remedy, hurt discount, and restoration assist companies has doubtless contributed to this progress in overdose deaths. Current will increase in deaths have been largely pushed by illicitly manufactured fentanyl and fentanyl analogs (IMFs).

Among the many key findings for drug overdose deaths:

  • In 2020, the overdose dying charge amongst Black males 65 years and older was almost seven occasions that of White males 65 years and older.
  • Black individuals 15–24 years outdated skilled the biggest charge improve (86 p.c) in contrast with modifications seen in different age/race teams throughout 2019–2020.
  • Overdose dying charges for AI/AN ladies 25–44 years of age have been almost two occasions that of White ladies 25–44 years of age.

Moreover the report analyzed drug overdose dying charges by remedy entry and earnings inequality, which proceed to point out regarding traits and widening disparities between completely different inhabitants teams:

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  • A historical past of substance use was widespread, however a historical past of receiving substance use remedy was not. Solely about 1 in each 10 AI/AN and Hispanic individuals had reportedly acquired substance use remedy; proof of remedy was even decrease for Black individuals (1 in each 12).
  • Opioid overdose charges in 2020 have been greater in areas with greater availability of opioid remedy applications in contrast with areas with decrease remedy availability, significantly amongst Black (34 vs. 17) and AI/AN (33 vs. 16) individuals per 100,000. Greater availability of remedy companies doesn’t imply improved entry to care. The identified variations in entry, obstacles to care, and healthcare distrust may play a task in exacerbating inequities even when remedy is accessible locally.
  • In counties with extra earnings inequality, there have been better disparities in overdose deaths, significantly amongst Black individuals, the place the speed was greater than two occasions as excessive in areas with extra earnings inequality versus these with much less earnings inequality.
  • In counties with lowest earnings inequality, charges have been highest amongst AI/AN individuals.

“The rise in overdose deaths and widening disparities are alarming,” stated CDC Performing Principal Deputy Director Dr. Debra Houry, M.D., M.P.H. “Overdose deaths are preventable, and we should redouble our efforts to make overdose prevention a precedence. We are going to proceed to assist and work collaboratively with communities like we do with CDC’s Overdose Knowledge to Motion (OD2A). Offering tailor-made instruments and sources to fight overdose and deal with underlying danger components will in the end assist cut back well being disparities and save lives.”


Drug overdoses are preventable. The rising overdose disaster, significantly amongst individuals from racial and ethnic minority teams, requires prevention, remedy, restoration, and hurt discount efforts which can be tailor-made to advertise optimum well being for all. Public well being professionals, healthcare suppliers, coverage makers, and communities can all play a task in stopping overdose deaths.  

Three issues we are able to do to forestall overdose deaths: 

  1. Enhance entry and cut back obstacles to confirmed remedy and restoration assist companies for all individuals who have substance use dysfunction(s) and, when acceptable, embrace culturally tailor-made practices.  
  1. Elevate consciousness about illegally manufactured fentanyl and polysubstance use (using multiple drug) and cut back stigma round remedy, restoration, and hurt discount. 
  1. Help hurt discount by increasing the distribution of and training in regards to the life-saving overdose reversal drug, naloxone, develop entry to hurt discount companies (i.e., distribution of naloxone, fentanyl check strips, and syringe service applications), and develop training about substance use dangers in populations which have been disproportionately impacted.  

Discover Remedy for Substance Use Dysfunction, together with Opioid Use Dysfunction 

Should you or someone near youwants assist for a substance use dysfunction, speak to your physician or name SAMHSA’s Nationwide Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP or go to SAMHSA’s Behavioral Well being Remedy Providers 

Further Assets: 

When you have questions on any medicines, name the U.S. Division of Well being and Human Providers Poison Assist Hotline at 1-800-222-1222. 

988: The New 3-Digit Quantity Suicide and Disaster Lifeline 

The Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline has transitioned to (988) an easy-to-remember, three-digit dialing code that gives free and confidential emotional assist to individuals in suicidal disaster or emotional misery 24 hours a day, 7 days every week, throughout america. The Lifeline includes a nationwide community of over 200 native disaster facilities, combining customized native care and sources with nationwide requirements and finest practices. 

*Asian/Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaska Native, Black, and White individuals are non-Hispanic; Hispanic individuals may very well be of any race. 

For extra details about this report, go to www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns.

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